The Story of the building of Kaabah in Makkah Al-Mukarramah

The following hadith by the prophet provides the background of how Makkah and Kaa’ba came into existence.

Prophet Ibrahim and Hajar Come to Makkah

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbâs [On the authority of the Prophet (See Fath Al-Bari, Vol. 7, Page 210)].

“…(Prophet) Ibrâhîm (Abraham) brought her (Hajar) and her son Ismail (Ishmael) while she used to nurse him at her breast, near the Ka‘bah under a tree on the spot of Zamzam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Makkah, nor was there any water. So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ismail’s (Ishmael) mother followed him saying, “O Ibrâhîm (Abraham)! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?” She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her. Then she asked him, “Has Allâh ordered you to do so?” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then He will not neglect us,” and returned while Ibrâhîm (Abraham) proceeded onwards, and on reaching the Thaniyyah where they could not see him, he faced the Ka‘bah, and raising both hands invoked Allâh saying the following supplication:

Prophet Ibrahim Kaaba building history in Makkah

‘O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka‘bah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât). So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allâh) provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks.’ (Surah Ibrahim :Verse 37)

Hajar Looks for Water for Prophet Ismaeel

Ismail’s (Ishmael) mother went on suckling Ismail (Ishmael) and drinking from the water (she had). When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him [i.e. Ismail (Ishmael)] tossing in agony; she left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of As-Safâ was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from As-Safâ and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached Al-Marwah mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between As-Safâ and Al-Marwah) seven times.”The Prophet said, “This is the source of the tradition of the Sa‘y (the going) of people between them (i.e. As-Safâ and Al-Marwah). When she reached Al-Marwah (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, ‘O (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?’ And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zamzam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hands in this way and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it.”The Prophet added, “May Allâh bestow mercy on Ismail’s (Ishmael) mother! Had she let the Zamzam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water) (to fill her water-skin), Zamzam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.”The Prophet further added, “Then she drank (water) and suckled her child. The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allâh which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allâh never neglects His people.’

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Settling of the tribe of Jurhum

The House (i.e. Ka‘bah) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left. She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child, as they (i.e. the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Kadâ’. They landed in the lower part of Makkah where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. They said, ‘This bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley.’ They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water, and returned to inform them of the water. So, they all came (towards the water).”The Prophet added, “Ismail’s (Ishmael) mother was sitting near the water. They asked her, ‘Do you allow us to stay with you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water.’ They agreed to that.”The Prophet further said, “Ismail’s (Ishmael) mother was pleased with the whole situation as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people. So, they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child [i.e. Ismail (Ishmael)] grew up and learned Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up, and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them.

mountains near Makkah

Mountains near Makkah

After Ismail’s (Ishmael) mother had died, Ibrâhîm (Abraham) came after Ismail’s (Ishmael) marriage in order to see his family that he had left before, but he did not find Ismail (Ishmael) there. When he asked Ismail’s (Ishmael) wife about him, she replied, ‘He has gone in search of our livelihood.’ Then he asked her about their way of living and their condition, and she replied, ‘We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution,’ complaining to him. He said, ‘When your husband returns, convey my salutation to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).’ When Ismail (Ishmael) came, he seemed to have felt something unusual, so he asked his wife, ‘Has anyone visited you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, an old man of such and such description came and asked me about you and I informed him, and he asked about our state of living, and I told him that we were living in a hardship and poverty.’ On that Ismail (Ishmael) said, ‘Did he advise you anything?’ She replied, ‘Yes, he told me to convey his salutation to you and to tell you to change the threshold of your gate.’ Ismail (Ishmael) said, ‘It was my father, and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.’ So, Ismail (Ishmael) divorced her and married another woman from amongst them (i.e. Jurhum). (Read about Makkah Mosque Expansion here)

Then Ibrâhîm (Abraham) stayed away from them for a period as long as Allâh wished and called on them again but did not find Ismail (Ishmael). So he came to Ismail’s (Ishmael) wife and asked her about Ismail (Ishmael). She said, ‘He has gone in search of our livelihood.’ Ibrâhîm (Abraham) asked her, ‘How are you getting on?’ asking her about their sustenance and living. She replied, ‘We are prosperous and well-off (i.e. we have everything in abundance).’ Then she thanked Allâh Ibrâhîm (Abraham) said, ‘What kind of food do you eat?’ She said, ‘Meat.’ He said, ‘What do you drink?’ She said, ‘Water.’ He said, ‘O Allâh! Bless their meat and water.’ “The Prophet added, “At that time they did not have grain, and if they had grain, he would have also invoked Allâh to bless it.”The Prophet added, “If somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and disposition will be badly affected, unless he lives in Makkah.” The Prophet added, “Then Ibrâhîm (Abraham) said to Ismail’s (Ishmael) wife, ‘When your husband comes, give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the threshold of his gate.’ When Ismail (Ishmael) came back, he asked his wife, ‘Did anyone call on you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, a good-looking old man came to me,’ so she praised him and added. ‘He asked about you, and I informed him, and he asked about our livelihood and I told him that we were in a good condition.’ Ismail (Ishmael) asked her, ‘Did he give you any piece of advice?’ She said, ‘Yes, he told me to give his regards to you and ordered that you should keep firm the threshold of your gate.’ On that Ismail (Ishmael) said, ‘It was my father, and you are the threshold (of the gate). He has ordered me to keep you with me.’

dua for problems

Prophet Ibrahim Build’s Allah’s House

Then Ibrâhîm (Abraham) stayed away from them for a period as long as Allâh wished, and called on them afterwards. He saw Ismail (Ishmael) under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Ibrâhîm (Abraham), he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father). Ibrâhîm (Abraham) said, ‘O Ismail (Ishmael)! Allâh has given me an order.’ Ismail (Ishmael) said, ‘Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.’ Ibrâhîm (Abraham) asked, ‘Will you help me?’ Ismail (Ishmael) said, ‘I will help you.’ Ibrâhîm (Abraham) said, ‘Allâh has ordered me to build a house here,’ pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it.’”The Prophet added, “Then they raised the foundations of the House (i.e. the Ka‘bah). Ismail (Ishmael) brought the stones and Ibrâhîm (Abraham) was building; and when the walls became high, Ismail (Ishmael) brought this stone and put it for Ibrâhîm (Abraham) who stood over it and carried on building, while Ismail (Ishmael) was handing him the stones, and both of them were saying,

Prophet Ibrahim Dua in Makkah

‘O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer the All-Knower.’” (V.2:127).

The Prophet added, “Then both of them went on building and going round the Ka‘bah saying ‘O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.’” (V.2:127) [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.4, Hadith No.583].

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makkah in ramadan

The City of Makkah with millions of worshippers today

makkah clock tower picture

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Read about Hajj step by step

See Prophet Ibrahim’s Dua for his parents and children

Note: Click here to read more Islamic stories from the Quran and get access to best Dua books in these publications.


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46 comments… add one
  • Dr. Hussein Abdur-Razzaq

    Walilahilhamd. More of such stories, please.

  • dawud khalifa

    truly inspirational, Allah’s blessing on His prophet and the conveyor of the naration’

  • Sameena

    MashaAllah! What an example of total Faith in Allah! Hajar’s confidence and assurance in Allah: “Has Allâh ordered you to do so?” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then He will not neglect us,” is really something to learn from. The other two examples of one wife complaining against her husband and the other expressing only gratitude to Allah, are also clear examples of how our approach to our life and its varying circumstances should be. Faith in Allah is expressed when we accept His Decree without ant questioning. That’s the only solution to all the problems of life. May Allah Rabbul aalameen Grant all Muslims such unwavering Faith and Trust in Him, and may Allah Grant you His Special rewards for sharing such informative and much needed articles about Islam – Aameen

  • Mohamed Yousuf

    Maashaallah – I came to knew the real faith of Khabaa Thanks

  • Islamiyah

    Alhamdulillah, may ALLAH(S.W.T) accept our charitable services from us & guide us aright as well as increase us in wisdom, knowledge & understanding. Ameen

  • Hassan

    Mansha Allah, This is inspiring! May Allah Bless all muslims and guide them

  • very very very beatifull and amazing and helpfull and learnfull
    i hope you go to ka’bah in sha allah

  • Hilal Ahmad Mir

    Subhanallah ,I Have Never Read This Story Before.. So AllaH Give Us Power, Taufiq AND Hidayat To Lve Our Future Life On Islamic Way , Which Ws Verily Done By Our Prophets Before.. Allow Us People For Hajj On That Holy Land Kaabah And Madina..(Aameen)

  • Syed Yousuf

    Allah is Great, Allah is real, he is every where, he is hearing us, he is protecting us when we call him, his angles whom we cannot see are real and they are around us. All believers believe and feel this by offering prayers five times a day, giving charity to impress Allah, helping neighbors in need, performing Haj and Omrah (if we can afford). This is great, inspiring and a REAL story of how Hebrew prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) landed in Arab land, build the house of Allah in centre of world with his son who learnt Arabic, then generations of Prophet Ismael (Ishmael) passed on and later born the last prophet Mohammed (PBUH) who has set himself as an example for entire humanity to follow.

  • najia

    Assalamalaikum. Thank you for all the articles that you sent—–increased my knowledge about our religion.
    EID MUBARAK to you and my Muslim brothers and sisters and Hajj mubarak to all those who have been able to perform Hajj.
    It is a joy to accept you as one of us sister Girmah Kinati. May you have a happy Eid.

  • Sakina

    What a wonderful story. Such a good example of patience and confidence in Allah. A good example of respect a child should have for his father.

  • Tariq Amin

    Very inspiring just keep up the work, May Allah SWT bless you. And set your path for a place of complete bliss and delite and peace. Ameen.

    Eid Greetings to all Muslims of the world.

  • Azeez Shittu

    Alhamdulillahi, this is a comprehensive article for those who are ready to follow the truth (islam). May Allah count us among those who will visit the Kaaba. amin.

  • preetee

    What a great story… I am really happy of being converted to islam.
    Thanks to Almighty Allah who has make to walk on right path…
    And with right wisdom and knowledge…
    And thanks to iqrasense.com

  • Ayaz

    Subhannallah..Please keep sending such Islamic History.. Many of us have not heard or Did not know this story.. May Allah (SWT) give us Towfik and guide us to the right path…May all those who have not gone for Hajj get to the Holy Cities next year Inshallah, Ameen.
    Idd Mubarak to all the muslims in advance.

  • Busra zakariya

    Al’amdulilahi, the story has alot of lessons for we muslims, I encourage my felow muslim to seek for knowledge of our deen. This will actually reform and shape our lives , it will as well makes us good ambassadors on earth. Jazakumllah kahera kazeera and happy eidl mabarak!

  • Noorudeen H

    Very useful information, alhamdulillah,

  • Alhamdulillah Rabbil’Alameen…What Allah said will be, will definitely, be…Always be grateful to the blessings and mercy of Allah…even if things are yet to happen as expected or our supplications yet unanswered, we still have the glory to give thanks to Allah for our existence…..Jazakumllah kahera kazeera and happy eidl mabarak!

    REPLY

  • Taoheed

    What a lesson of faith,trust & hope in Allah exemplified by Hajar.May Allah increase this present umah with such, because I’ve learn my lessons. Jazakallahu kyran

  • Kareem Olatunji Ibraheem

    This is very interesting because it teaches the way of life, that is the the TRUTH and how to see or meet God in right way.
    Thank you.

  • shaukat shaikh

    Subhanallah ! you have sent a truth of Islam at the right time !Now the hajj is being performed by millenium of musllim pilgrims in Mekkah.

  • Nena P Mendoza

    A lesson of patience, full obedience to God and strong faith, keeping the hope that God never neglects His people.

  • amina saad musa

    masha Allah,this is inspiring. May Allah accept our good deeds & guide us through the right path. Once again jazakallahu khairan for the usual post. { may Allah grant u all your wishes in this world & hereafter} ameen

  • Muhammad Saleh Samo

    The above description has two deviations from the account given in Sahih Ahadith.
    The first is that the water of Zam Zam was not obtaind by digging a pit by any angel but by rubbing the ground with his feet by baby Ismail (A.S).
    The second is that the name Zam Zam given to it is attributed to the fact that when water started flowing, Hajar(A.S) said to it: zam zam which means in Hebrew: wait, wait. It is also said in Hadith in this context, that had she not used the words: zam zam, it would have flowed like a violent spring and would have attained the shape of a swift stream that would have been sufficient to irrigate very large areas of land.

    • admin

      The story in this article is a direct quote from the hadith. The hadith mentions that it was the angel who caused (through Allah’s command) the water to gush out…not Ismail..

  • Dr. Soraiya Khaliq Ansari

    Assalam u Alaikum to all of you…!

    I am offering thanks to Iqrasense for conveying such beautiful information about the history of our great religion Islam…
    There is no example for such worship like Hajj or such a huge gathering of people in any other religion which makes our religion, a religion which is different from the rest and there are so many other aspects too…
    Regards: Dr. Soraiya Khaliq Ansari..

  • FAHD FALOS

    All praises are due to Allah the most high.
    May Allah bless you for this wonderful story

  • Ibrahim

    Wonderful history,thank you for sharing this with us.For it is good
    for any muslim to know the history of the kaabah for it is our asset.

  • Very informative history that help us to have more and more trust on Allah and His support all the time.
    Hope may Allah bless you.
    Best Regards,

  • Lokman Elkayed

    Wonderful history

  • So this is the story of Kaaba, the house of God Almighty. I now have deep and full understanding of the history of Makkah. From the begining the city was meant to be great and will remain great till the last day. It is evident that the house of God will continue to be protected by God Himself. May Allah grant opportunity to all Muslim faithful who have not visited the Kaaba and Makkah to do so and may He reward us aboundantly (amen).

  • Douglas Phiri

    Every article you are sending me is by far increasing my Islamic knowledge to the extent that i am comprehending the deen of Islam .

  • Masha Allah. May Allah reward you for this beautiful history. Thanks

  • Mohammed Toungos

    Alhamdulillah, may Allaah Subhanahu wata’ala rewards you for updating and refreshing my knowledge on how KA’ABA was built.
    It is wonderfully written and straight to the point.
    Jazakallahu Khairan.

  • subhan allah!.wishing all believers to get opportunity to perform haj, .and myself also.Insha Allah.

  • May peace an blessings of Allah be upon prophet muhammad s.a.w an his companions may peace and blessings be on prophet Abraham and ismail alai himussalam. May Allah bless iqrasense.com

  • Ismail Kimathi

    Ismail’s mother had some very great faith in ALLAH!! Even after being left in a desert with no water, she never lost her faith in ALLAH!! May the ALMIGHTY grant us such faith INSHALLAH and grant us paradise, AAMYYN!!

  • Aminur Rahaman

    Thanks a lot for the beautiful Hadith and heart touching story of As-Safa and Al-Marwah.

    Very often, I hear from some of the muslims that Kaabah was rebuilt by Ibrahim (AS) and Ismail (AS). It was first built by Adam (AS). Is there any authentic reference of this story? From where such stories are coming out?

    Please share some insight on this. Thanks in advance.

    Aminur

  • Adil gani

    O Allah make me and my family steadfast, Increase us in faith as you had increased our father Ibrahim(As) and his family.

  • Masha Allah! What an example of total Faith in Allah! “Has Allâh ordered you to do so?” then Ibrahim said, “Yes.” She said, “Then He will not neglect us,” This she said in most difficult circumstances in which she was living, but holding firmly to her faith in Allah.

  • May the ALMIGHTY grant us such faith on all Muslims in the world so that we can go ahead following all Sunah of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) without compromise !!

  • Alhamdulill truly inspirational , may Allah reward you for this beautiful history of the Kaaba .

  • yimis

    What a Father, what a mother and what a blessed child to have such parents. The dua’s are so heart wrenchingly beautiful. No wonder Allah has ordered us to send durood on him and his family till the end of times.

  • Mamuda S.

    The story of Ismael is quite amazing!! Muslim women / men have a lot to learn from this. When you take up the challenge posed by your spouse and have faith in Allah, you will have a perfect solution to all your stress. Stop nagging, whining and the blame game and reach out to Allah. When you trust and have all hope in Allah, HE will show up and remedy your situation. Our everyday Trouble is Allah’s Triumph and our Calamity is Allah’s Opportunity. All that is required is for us to flip the coin with strong faith in Him, patience and having positive disposition all the time.

  • Fareeda

    I went for this year,this was my second Haj.last time I went in 1999.both the times I felt sick,I developed very bad cold,I had taken medicines with me.Both the I performed my rituals very well in fact better than the others who were not.i prayed to Allah that u have called me here so kindly take care of me like your status and goodness.what a mezban He turned out to be caring helping can’t explain in words,writing all this I am crying.He Allah SWTis just great in fact greater than the greatest truely Almighty.i saw so many people with one leg some no arms all doing tawaf them selves only by their will supported by Allah.Truely said by Allah u give me one finger I will extend my whole hand towards you.

  • ABDULKABIR KANDI

    ALHAMDULILLAHI,OH ALLAH GUIDE US AND THE UNBORN GENERATION OF MUSLIMS TO HAVE FIRM FAITH IN YOU.AMEEN.

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